Gene Therapy is Found to be a Safe and Cost Effective Treatment for HIV
Researchers have reported that gene therapy is found to be safe in patients with HIV, even after more than a decade. They have found that the altered DNA, which was given to the patients of HIV, was stable and therefore this therapeutic strategy can be used effectively in patients with other illnesses.
Forty-three people were treated with genetically altered versions of infection resisting T-cells and all of them are healthy even after 11 years. Betwen 1998 and 2002, researchers removed the blood of HIV patients, modified it genetically, and reinjected back. Researchers have found that 41 of the patients still have the modified T-cells in their bodies.
"People were treated by gene therapy and nothing bad happened. It was safe," said study co-author Frederic Bushman, a professor of microbiology at the University of Pennsylvania. Furthermore, the treated immune cells work effectively for about a decade without any major disturbance. "The general picture that emerges about genetic alterations to human immune cells is that they can persist for a long time if you do it right."
The interesting part of the research is that the modified cells didn’t cause leukemia, which has happened with some similar gene-therapy replacements. Moreover, this therapeutic strategy is effective in reducing the cost of medicines.